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Do you accept your dp/dh the way he is???

10 replies

arabella2 · 06/06/2003 12:05

I ask because dh and I have had major ructions this week and I think it all started because I was saying how much I resent how affectionate he is to ds as compared to how affectionate he is to me. He called me a jealous spoilt git, but I honestly don't think it is that kind of jealousy... I am very glad that ds has so much love from his father, it has just brought home how relatively UNaffectionate dh is towards me. I too am very cuddly with ds and I know that babies need/elicit this kind of care, but I still would somehow like to feel that I am not just ds's mother to dh. I think dh would clearly like me to accept what I do get from him... but there are things which I have always resented him not doing (long before ds came along) like:

  • kissing hello and goodbye
  • kissing on the mouth which he NEVER does unless we are being more intimate
  • dh doing something for my birthday (he does nothing as in his family they do not do stuff for the adults)
    ... generally feeling that we are a partnership alongside our mutual love for ds.
    Sometimes I think that if I had known what was and what wasn't important to dh better before we got together, I may not have done so. I just do not feel that important to him. Granted this may be because we are at loggerheads over things a lot of the time. I just find it a little hard to believe that I am only 34 and the romance in my life is practically non-existent. I sometimes catch myself thinking that I will have to wait for my next life for a fulfilling relationship.
    On the other hand, it really annoys dh that I never make him tea etc... I think he goes in for much more practical attention, so he feels loved if he sees me doing that kind of stuff (which I stubbornly never do). It might be a case of me trying to be more loving in the ways he wants to be loved before I get back what I need???
OP posts:

wickedstepmother · 06/06/2003 12:30

For goodness sake, DH needs to realise that you are not his mother.

Seriously though, I would imagine that his lack of social closeness (handholding, kisses etc) is down to him not being exposed to that behaviour when he was growing up. Do his parents show a similar lack of affection for each other? It could be that he is following a learned pattern of behaviour.


arabella2 · 06/06/2003 12:37

Yes you are right. It probably is because of what he was and wasn't exposed to when he was growing up. I am kind of guessing because his father died before I met him but that is the general impression I get from how the adults in his family are with each other. At the beginning of our relationship he was much more affectionate which I know is normal but for some reason it has never stopped rankling with me that things changed so much (we have been together for 7 years now - 7 year itch???).
It also annoys me that there are certain things that he point blank refuses to talk about... I suppose again it's a case of not being able to "get" everything you need from just the one person.. Maybe I should concentrate of giving as well and that will take my mind off it - I suppose what goes around comes around?

OP posts:

wickedstepmother · 06/06/2003 12:57

This may sound stupid and completely obvious but have you tried to sit down and talk about it rationally with him (not always easy I know)? Perhaps if he understood that his lack of attention leaves you feeling unloved and unwanted by him it might bring him a little closer to giving you the affection you need. If this is causing you a great deal of distress you could try Relate (this won't work if only one of you wants things to change).

I'm sorry that things are looking so grey for you at the moment and I hope things improve soon.


October · 06/06/2003 13:09

Message withdrawn


Bobsmum · 06/06/2003 13:12

Hi Arabella - I'm from the other side of the fence. Although my family loved me we were never physical or affectionate with each other. The first time i remember getting a hug from my mum - ever - was after I'd left home and got engaged. Even then I think it was just because she felt she should. It's taken a long while for me to realise that "displays of affection" are ok and just part of life rather that the huge "event" that I'd been brought up to believe.
Someone once told me that if you start to do loving , practical things for someone you are finding it hard to love (not saying you don't love your dh) then it becomes easier and easier.
You begin to want to make them happy/show them affection/do something special etc. It's not too great to start with cos you do feel like you shouldn't have to initiate things. But honestly even small things like making the tea might blow his mid and give him a wake up call.
I always try the "I love it when you ....." approach. my dh sometimes needs told to be spontaneous.


aloha · 06/06/2003 13:47

Can't you kiss him hello and goodbye? I think it's hard to be loving to someone who you don't feel is being loving to you...but...I wouldnt' be surprised if he felt exactly the same as you and could post (if men ever did anything so bizarre!) that he feels unloved because his wife never does anything caring for him like make him a cup of tea when he looks tired. My dh is very affectionate (too much sometimes, honest) but not romantic at all in the gifts and flowers way. I really don't think you can judge love by thinking what you do - if you see what I mean. He is a different person with a different background and his way isn't wrong, just different. I think it might help to stop hoping he will surprise you on your birthday, but arrange something together, like book a restaurant, and tell him you want a card and some flowers and it would mean a lot to you. I do know how you feel though. I was devastated when my dh didn't buy me flowers when ds was born and I was in hospital for five days. He just never thinks to buy flowers, but he did visit every day while I was in hospital for a month beforehand and brought me homemade food. I do think men tend to like specific instructions and practical's the way they are. If you want anything else you usually have to ask and be very specific. "For my birthday I would like a bunch of pink roses and to go to X restaurant at 8pm!'.


fio2 · 06/06/2003 13:49

otober-my dh thinks kissing=sex too!
Arabella2- alot of men are like this Im afraid. It is like an old fashioned approach to marriage and fatherhood that was most often seen in our grandparents. It doesnt mean he doesnt love you.


steppemum · 06/06/2003 13:52

arabella, have you ever heard of the concept of love languages? It is a little corny, but it has some truth in it and you and your dh seem like prime candidates. Basically it says that we all have one "language" which makes us feel loved. For some people, they don't feel loved unless they have physical contact, holding hands, kisses, hugs etc. For others, they need "words of affirmation" (sorry about the corny language) so they feel loved when they are regularly told - Thank you for doing... I love it when you.... you are so good at... etc
There are 5 altogether, the other 3 are (if I can remember)
-doing things for the other - making them cups of tea, etc (this sounds like your dh)
-presents, small gifts, cards, flowers, not pricey, just to say I was thinking of you when I saw this
-quality time, talking to each other, going for a walk etc

I know that it is a simple concept, and not always right, and relationships are much more complex than these books always suggest, but I did find it helpful in learning how to communicate better, and maybe your dh would find it helpful in understanding why you need hugs etc. The book is called The 5 Love Languages.

As Bobsmum said, if you start to do things for him that you know presses his buttons, then he will be happier, and will start to respond (I hope)
If it all sounds like rubbish, just ignore me!


arabella2 · 09/06/2003 11:30

Thanks everybody for all your kind messages. I have since been posting about dh and I and the rubbish way we deal with each other. I do think the idea of love languages is interesting and valid. It's hard though when just a tiny gesture on dh's part would fulfill a little of what I need. I could kiss him hello and goodbye aloha but I never get the impression that he is really into this so that puts me off. I probably should have married a much more kissy person, he just does not seem to need this at all.
In any case, as I have just posted in the other thread, I do have a plan of action which involves being nicer to dh without expecting anything back so we'll see how that goes...

OP posts:

aloha · 09/06/2003 12:56

I know how you feel. I have been telling dh that the odd gift or flowers would mean so much to me and I think he's finally beginning to understand that he should do this for me, even though he thinks its silly and trivial. I think that's the angle to go on - I know it seems silly to you but it makes me feel loved when you do X. My dh also feels loved if I cook for him (also loves to be hugged), and had no idea that for me, his cooking for me was nice, but didn't make me feel particularly special or loved. It's amazing what we expect our partners to know without us telling them, isn't it?

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